CSIRO’s Data61 with IBM and law firm Herbert Smith Freehills will build a blockchain for legal contracts. “This is huge” says RMIT economist Jason Potts, who argues for the transformative power of the blockchain in the way society is organised. “This is how you do economic productivity for Australia.”
The proposed Australian National Blockchain, will “enable organisations to digitally manage the lifecycle of a contract, not just from negotiation to signing, but also continuing over the term of the agreement, with transparency and permission-based access among parties in the network. The service will provide organisations the ability to use blockchain-based smart contracts to trigger business processes and events.”
Professor Potts, with RMIT colleagues Sinclair Davidson and Chris Berg argue the blockchain can replace many functions we now need the state to provide. “The limits of a market society were always the ability of the state to provide those services of record keeping, validation and verification of transactions in property rights. In return, the state levied taxation to fund these services. Blockchains are a new technology of fault tolerant governance that can furnish the governance to underpin a market economy and society,” they write, (CMM October 39 2017).